School Headphone Buying Guide

This School Headphone Buying Guide was created to help answer some common questions and make it easy to select the school headphones and audio solutions that are best suited for your school, classrooms and learning environments. In this guide we will cover different school headphone types, options and connections to provide additional clarity and to help ensure compatibility with existing school computers and school mobile devices.

As we prepare for back to school 2022, checkout this handy back to school headphone buying guide to help you.

School Headphones and Classroom Headphones

student with school headphones on

School headphones have become an important part of student learning. Online learning has accelerated the need for virtual communication.  As we begin to navigate a new normal, computers, tablets, and mobile devices have become learning staples.

This is almost like a paradigm shift. With it comes a host of new challenges to individualized learning, the virtual classroom and interactive communication with teachers and students alike.

School headphones are more important now than they have ever been before.

The good news is that there are a variety of quality options, to ensure your students are adequately prepared to learn in new learning environments.
This school headphone buying guide was created to help answer a variety of questions. These include: school headphone types, to school headphone accessories and ensuring the school headphones you select are compatible with the computer or mobile device they will be connected to.  

School headphones, like anything else, come in an ever growing variety of different types to suit any audio or interactive learning need. This guide will go over the most popular varieties, including traditional style, earbuds, and wireless headphones types. There are four different categories of headphones, which include over-ear, on-ear, earbud, and in-ear.

  • On-Ear (Small earcups , that rest on your ear)
  • Over-Ear (Large earcups that cover ear & helps block out surrounding noise
  • Standard Headphones
  • Volume Control Headphones
  • Noise Cancelling Headphones
Ear Cushions:
  • Vinyl
  • Leatherette
  • Foam
  • Silicone
  • Rubber
Cord Type:
  • Plastic Cord
  • Nylon Braided Cord
  • Duracord (chew/king/know resistant
  • Cord Length Varies By Product
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Over-ear, or circumaural, school headphones

girl with over-ear school headphones on at computer

The Over-ear school headphones go over the ears and feature a variety of cushions that enclose the ears to produce crisp, quality sound. Circumaural headphones fit completely over the ear in a cupped shape, and can be very heavy. The ear cup material can be foam, silicone, vinyl, rubber or a variety of other materials. This type of headphone is typically used in education environments, and is most useful for these pursuits as they can be manufactured to fully seal against the head for maximum outside noise reduction in the classroom. 
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On-ear, or supra-aural, headphones

on-ear school headphones

The on-ear school headphones are worn on the ears but do not enclose the ears. This is one of the most popular forms of educational headphones, both in comfort and in variety. Most often, the cushion material on this type of headphone is foam, and they are comfortable enough to be worn for a longer period of time. This headphone type is smaller and lighter than circumaural headphones, and provides enough noise reduction to be useful in a classroom setting.
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School Earbuds

student wearing school earbuds on mobile tablet

School earbuds are a smaller variety of headphone that sit directly in the outer ear, and are not inserted into the ear canal. In most cases, they do not provide any cushioning, and can be uncomfortable for long-term wear. From an outside noise perspective, this type of headphone may not be the best option. It can be difficult to isolate the intended sound from ambient noise, and some users increase the volume of their audio to compensate. Their small size can be useful in a situation where a student needs to use their hands to perform an activity, as users are not as immersed in the audio. Earbuds are available in a disposable option, which can be useful for the classroom, especially in a testing or one-time-use application.
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In-ear headphones for School

In-ear school headphones are now referred to as school earbuds. This in-ear headphone design is inserted into the ear canal. The cushion material is often made of silicone rubber or foam, and can be custom molded to a particular user. In-ear headphones are excellent at cancelling noise, and are used by the recording industry and audiophiles for that purpose. They are a lightweight headphone option designed to reduce ambient noise and immerse the user in the provided audio.
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School Headsets

student wearing school headset with mic

School headsets, while not technically a headphone type, utilize both on-ear and over-ear headphone design and microphone. Headsets are useful in a classroom setting, as they provide the student with the ability to use their hands to command a mouse and keyboard, and their voices to participate in computerized lessons. Headsets are either set up as mono (single earpiece), stereo (double earpiece), or can be switched from one to the other. The microphone is typically situated in front of the user’s mouth for easy operation.

Understanding the different types of headphone technology is important to ensuring you receive what will work best for your classroom application. As an example, for testing and multimedia applications, earbuds might work best. Headsets would work best for language learning, online communication, and audio recording. On-ear headphones would work best for applications where audio input via a microphone isn’t necessarily needed. All of our school headset options are versatile, and connect to either via a standard 3.5mm jack, USB port, or dual plug compatibility.
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Headphone Accessories

school headphone accessories

These include disposable earbud covers, replacement ear cushions, school headphone jack boxes, a variety of adapters, equipment sanitizer, and volume controls are great solutions for additional needs within the classroom. Add-on items such charging and storage solutions are also excellent to help enhance organization in your classroom and can be purchased from Learning Headphones.
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Keeping things clean

sanitary classroom

Cleanliness is a necessity in any learning environment, and school headphones are no different. Learning Headphones provides a variety of disposable ear covers, sanitizing wipes, and even automatic UV-light irradiation sanitizing options to help keep your classrooms as germ-free as possible. We know it can be challenging.
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Assistive Listening systems

Assistive listening centers for school can help to reduce background noise, and deliver the audio at an amplification level that will be just right for any listener. One transmitter for these systems can serve an unlimited number of receivers within 150 feet, so the possibilities are endless. Cutting out the background noise and keeping attention on the audio at hand can be a struggle, but assistive listening systems can help with that.
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School Headphone Jackboxes 

School listening stations, and media players are all great ways to get information to an entire classroom relatively easily. Jackboxes have the capability of up to eight individual listeners being able to listen to one recording simultaneously, with individual volume controls. Media players can be as simple as boomboxes or CD players, and Learning Headphones even offers listening center kits, which can be used with up to six students at once, utilizing both wireless and wired technology. Recording options are also available, for any audio recording and playback needs that your classrooms may have.
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Splitters, adapters, and cables

These solutions are also available via Learning Headphones. These can make it easier to split a recording between two or more sets of headphones, and adapters can be used to easily plug one type of cable into another. These accessories make any listening experience easier for the teacher, as well as for their classroom.
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School Headphone Storage

Classroom storage can be a struggle, when it seems as if classrooms keep getting smaller and smaller. Learning Headphones provides a variety of storage and charging solutions for school headphones, tablets, laptops, and more. Several of our charging stations are on casters, which makes them easy to move from one place to another without headaches.
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School Tablet Accessories

Learning Headphones
Tablets and mobile devices have earned their place in many classrooms, and keeping them safe will ensure that a school’s investment continues to pay dividends in the form of the educational needs of its students. Learning Headphones offers a variety of cases for iPads and tablets, as well as charging solutions to fit any learning environment scenario.
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Purchase Orders

students with school headphones

Purchasing can be a headache. Choosing a headphone provider that you can work with long term can lessen those headaches for your organization. Selecting a vendor that can deliver high performance headphones and accessories affordably is paramount to a successful multimedia experience for your students, and will be a surefire way to ensure they make the most of their lessons.

Beyond purchasing on its’ own, you want to make sure you make the most of your budget by buying quality products. Many of our school headphones and other products come with at least a 1-year warranty.

Storage solutions and protection are important things to consider. This can save money in the long run by increasing the life-cycle of your headphones.
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Shipping and Delivery times can be an important hurdle, especially getting closer to desired delivery date or the first day of school. Ensuring you allow enough time between your order and delivery will save your organization exorbitant shipping costs for rush shipping.

Express delivery is something we happily provide, and we are flexible with your school’s schedule. If your organization will be closed on the date of delivery, we would be happy to arrange a later date that would work better for you.

Specialized companies, such as Learning Headphones, can provide a personalized experience, to each and every customer by knowing exactly what we sell, without overreach. We have one job, and that is focusing on the needs of our customers, first and foremost.
If you don’t see what you’re looking for on our website, we would be happy to find it for you.

We work with school districts, libraries, companies and organizations from around the world, We have an outstanding reputation for not only our products, but also the caring and compassionate customer service our customers receive.


students with school headphones and school earbuds on

When it comes to buying school headphones it is important to consider how many you need and plan for accidental damage and replacements instead of placing smaller orders.

It's hard to predict every misplaced, damaged, or broken pair of school headphones or school headsets you receive. Have extra pairs on hand eliminates delays and reduces overall costs. We created a school headphone care guide designed to help everyone get the most out of your school headphones. 

Check with other schools and faculty departments within your district or organization. Combining orders saves time and helps make school headphone orders easy. Large volume orders may qualify for a discount. This can help to maximize your resources and be within your budget. 

  School Headphones School Headsets with Microphone School Earbuds School Earbuds with Mic
Connection 3.5mm TRRS 3.5mm  3.5mm 
USB USB Bluetooth Bluetooth
Wireless Dual Plug    
Type On-Ear On-Ear Conventional Conventional
Smaller earcups that rest on your ear. Smaller earcups that rest on your ear. Earbuds Sit in the outer ear and create a loose seal. Earbuds Sit in the outer ear and create a loose seal.
Over-Ear Over-Ear In-Ear In-Ear
Larger earcups that fit around the ear and rest directly on the skull, which helps block out surrounding noise. Larger earcups that fit around the ear and rest directly on the skull, which helps block out surrounding noise. Silicone Tips sits in the ear canal, forming a seal, which helps block out surrounding noise. Silicone Tips sits in the ear canal, forming a seal, which helps block out surrounding noise.
Features Volume Control Volume Control Volume Control Volume Control
Noise Cancelling Noise Cancelling Noise Cancelling Noise Cancelling
Ear Cushions Vinyl Vinyl Plastic Plastic
Leatherette Leatherette Foam Foam
Foam Foam Silicone  Silicone 
Microphone   In-line Mic   In-line Mic
Cord Type Plastic Cord Plastic Cord Plastic Cord Plastic Cord
Nylon  Nylon  Flat Cord  Flat Cord 
Braided Cord Braided Cord (tangle resistant) (tangle resistant)
Duracord  Duracord  Cord Length Varies By Product  Cord Length Varies By Product 
(chew/kink/ knot resistant) (chew/kink/ knot resistant)    
Cord Length Varies By Product  Cord Length Varies By Product     

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Have additional questions?

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We Make It Simple.

At Learning Headphones, we're dedicated to enhancing the educational experience with our high-quality audio solutions. Whether you're outfitting a single classroom or an entire school district, we're here to provide personalized support and expertise.

We aim to respond to all quote requests within one business day.

Tax Exemption and Purchase Orders

We understand the unique needs of educational institutions, including budget considerations. Learning Headphones gladly accepts Tax Exemption Certificates and Purchase Orders. If your organization is tax-exempt, please attach your certificate along with your quote request. For those wishing to complete a purchase order, detailed instructions will be provided with your quote.